Tom Fleck
Tom Fleck
Tom Fleck
● Tom Fleck, 1959

born in Scotland

Thomas Fleck was born in 1940, in Glasgow. *

The 6' 1 (12st 10lbs) goalkeeper signed for David Meiklejohn's Thistle on Thursday, 2nd April, 1959, having most recently been with Greenock Juniors.

Aged 18 or 19, he made his debut appearance on Wednesday, 21st October, 1959, in a 5-3 friendly defeat away to Dumbarton.

There were no clean-sheets for Tom during his spell with Thistle.

He played his last game for the club on Saturday, 5th December, 1959, in a 4-1 defeat away to Ayr United in the SFL First Division, having appeared as a Jag on 4 occasions.

Tom's club-list included Greenock Juniors, Partick Thistle, Berwick Rangers, Dumbarton, Toronto Roma, Montréal Cantalia and Montréal Italica.

* If you can help us to improve any of these marked points on The Thistle Archive, then please do get in touch →

Bio Extra

It was David Meiklejohn who brought this Greenock Juniors goalie to Firhill as a teenager, but he never got a chance to see him play, the legendary Thistle manager dying from a heart attack just 5 months later. Tom got his first start under new manager, Willie Thornton, in October 1959. Thistle lost the midweek friendly to Dumbarton by 5 goals to 3 and Tom never done himself justice on the night. With Thistle #1 John Freebairn having shipped 13 goals in 3 games, Tom was suddenly handed a League debut at Airdrie on the 21st November, 1959. He acquitted himself fairly well this time, but the Thistle team, showing 8 positional changes from the previous match, were comfortably beaten by 3 goals to nil.

In what might well have been his most memorable 90 minutes as a footballer, Tom kept his place for the following week's game at home to Celtic in the League. It was a shaky start but Thistle, much changed and with 2 debutants, scored through Jim Fleming (10) and George Smith (40). Alas, it was Tom's dropping of the ball which caused mid-table Celtic's goal (42). Thistle survived an onslaught as Tom redeemed himself, then Smith, in a magnificent breakaway from his own half, inter-passed with Fleming and smashed in the 3rd (87). Thistle 3 Celtic 1. Typically, Thistle, with Tom in goal, lost 4-1 at Ayr United the following Saturday! John Freebairn was recalled and that was the end of Tom's short-lived involvement as a first teamer.

Having been granted a free transfer in April 1960, Tom landed at second tier Berwick Rangers for season 1960-61. The 'wee Rangers' finished respectably in 9th in the 19 team League, with Tom making 27 appearances in all competitions. Despite this, he was freed at the end of that season and, for some reason, didn't re-appear in the Scottish senior scene until late in 1962 when he signed for Second Division Dumbarton. Tom featured in 10 competitive matches for the mid-table Sons before setting sail for Canada in the springtime of 1963.

And so it came to be that the Eastern Canada Professional Soccer League was where Tom played after his Scottish career was over! Toronto Roma were his first club. They had started out as the Sparta Athletic Club of Toronto in the 1950s, and were bought by the Italian group that had invested in the I.C.A. Italia club that were members of the Toronto-based International Soccer League in 1959. The club was now run by Steve Stavro and immediately tried to change its name to Roma FC. However, due to league rules the club had to keep the old name Sparta in the 1960 NSL season. In January 1961 the club was granted the right to change its name to Toronto Roma. Roma won the 1961 National Soccer League Championship.

Toronto Roma joined the Eastern Canada Professional Soccer League in 1962. They stayed in that league until after the 1966 season, whereafter they returned to the National Soccer League before the start of the 1967 NSL season. When the 1967 playoffs were about to start they dropped out due to differences with the league management. After Roma in 1963, Tom moved on to Montréal Cantalia later that same year. Cantalia was operated by a holding club, Montréal City Soccer Club Inc. From there, Tom played in the 1964 Eastern Canada Professional Soccer League with Montréal Italica (aka Montréal Italia or Italia-Montréal).

(WS/AFK/CHH)



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